Friday, 29 June 2007
Monday, 25 June 2007
Friday, 22 June 2007
It was quite exciting (in a sock geek sort of way) to get a squishy package and have no idea what it contained.... What's the yarn colour? What's the pattern? Despite my control freak tendencies I like the idea that someone else gets to decide what I knit next. So I opened the package and found two skeins of variegated yarn in some lovely greens and blues with a smattering of purple. This picture doesn't really do the colours justice I'm afraid.
Being an obsessive I had to see what it was going to look like knitted up and cast on right after dinner. It's a lace pattern, which is not normally something I would knit in a variegated yarn - but after one repeat of the pattern it's looking pretty good.
Thanks so much to everyone who has left comments lately. It's nice to know people are visiting!
Wendy asked about the pattern for the round felted bag. I had to dig back in my memory - but with the help of google I've located the pattern a blog called amimono note may 31, 2005 entry.
I used Rowan Big Wool - 1 ball for each colour on 8mm needles.
- The striping pattern is random -- as a geek I use a single dice to determine how many rows the next section should be. If I try to plan out the 'random' stripes beforehand I end up overanalyising the whole thing. I try not to second guess the dice - but as a control freak that's hard for me!
- I did a round of single crochet around the top of the bag - it just seems to finish it off for me.
- The giant bobble and closure - they are pretty straightforward. The closure is a 2 or 3 stitch i-cord . The bobble is a square knit on the same size needles (10-12 stitches by 10-12 rows). Using a darning needle I thread a strand of the yarn around the square - stuffed it with bits of yarn then pulled it into a bobble shape.
Wednesday, 20 June 2007
Ha! What a fool!
Before the world of knitting forums and blogs I had never felted, made a shawl or knit a sock. Inspired by the amazing yarns and patterns I've found on blogs and in forums over the past 2 months I've made 2 felted bags, 5 pairs of socks, 2 stoles and 1 shawl. Crazy! And the list of things I want to make and the yarns I want to knit with just grows by the day. My yarn stash has grown an embarassing amount, and I have gadgets and needles of every description...and still every day I find something new.
I've been a knitter since the age of 5 or 6 - but it's fair to say that I've been exposed to more aspects of knitting in the past 2 months than in the many (many) (sigh) years before.
This week I've decided to attack the Alpine knit scarf in Victorian Lace Today and yesterday I googled to see if I could find any pictures of finished scarves by other knitters. In that trawl I found some pictures from a knitter (Laura) of a different shawl in the book. It's fair to say the shawl hadn't really made any impact on me from the book -- but the pictures on this blog were stunning! And zooooooom - the shawl moves up the 'make me' list.
And this week - my blog became a 'mini (very) point of interest' on an American forum from Knitty.com. One of the posters there was interested in knitting the Hanami stole, googled it and hit on my blog. It gave them all another view of Melanie's lovely pattern and a few things to consider in knitting it.
Through that, one of the forum members found the entries on the Kaffe Fassett coat. By some strange coincidence one of her knitting group members had brought the pattern to their meeting the night before and sent me a message to tell me. How cool is that!
I have found a couple of knit forums (the one listed above, and the Angel Board) to share ideas on, so many blogs I love to visit, 3 fab new local yarn shops and sooooo many amazing online shops (possibly too many if my credit card bill is anything to go by) -- I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the possibilities.
But it's great!
Great Zane Lowe Radio 1 'On Board' Mission
Texts sent so far are:
Day 1: Soo is knitting up socks and on board.
Day 2: On board and knitting a shawl. Soo.
Day 3: On board and loving the knitting groove. Soo
On day 3 I did get a shout out. But I'm not satisfied --he dropped the knitting reference and just said I was on board. Bah!!! This ain't over yet - Zane - not by a long shot.
Knitty, Witty, Woo - I like the idea of other knitters texting. But I do think we should stick to some rules. (I love rules.) (Even when undertaking some strange 'reclaim the hipness of the knit' campaign, I love rules.)(I'm a lousy revolutionary.)
- You can only text if you are actually listening. (7pm, Radio 1, Monday through Thursday - text 81199)
- You can only send one text per evening.
- Text should contain 'on board' and a knitting reference.
Obviously - you can ignore these rules - but I like to think that slowly over time he'll get a few more knitting texts each day until we break him and he finally sends out some love to the knitters.
I'm actually out tomorrow night so I'll continue the campaign on Monday (as per rule 1).
Monday, 18 June 2007
This is my fifth pair of socks and I think this addiction has firmly taken root. I have more sock yarn than I can list, and at last count had 7 (yep 7) different sock books -- all acquired since mid April. Expect to see a few more socks gracing this blog.
Below is my "Sockalong Sockathon" output. The goal was to complete 1 pair Opal Rainforest (check), 1 pair Monkey socks (check), and one pair Bayerische (check). The other two pair represent waiting time between finishing Monkey and the arrival of the red yarn for the Bayerische.
Wednesday, 13 June 2007
I wanted to add some movement to the pattern - but keep the striping. And I wanted a plain sole to the sock -- patterned soles don't seem very comfortable to me.
In the meantime I'm working on the second Bayerische (still on two circulars)(eeeeek) and considering my next big project.
Oh! and I've joined a Mystery Stole-along!! The designer is Melanie from PinkLemonTwist and I fully expect the final result will be as stunning as her other patterns. I can't wait for the first clue which is due the first week of July.
** 'completed' in this context means: knit but waiting for the grafting fairy to visit. Sigh.
Monday, 11 June 2007
(Am I the only one who worries that when I take the pins out that the blocking magic will end and the shawl will return to its shapeless former self?)
I'm really pleased with the final product -- despite more than a few reservations while I was knitting it. The wool Rowanspun Aran weight (discontinued - but on sale at www.cucumberpatch.co.uk ) softened nicely with washing and blocking.
I used 450ish grams of the wool and the finished measurements are an impressive 96 inches across the top, and 52 inches at its longest point. Pre blocking it was a puny 80 inches by 38 inches.The blocking wires really made blocking this much easier than it might have been otherwise. The wires kept the long side firmly anchored and let me stretch each of the points easily.
The pattern was free - and as they say worth every penny! I'm being a bit harsh - but unfortunately although the shawl itself was easy enough the pattern wasn't written particularly well. If you've had experience knitting another shawl and understand the basic shaping, and incorporating repeats as the number of stitches grow you'll be fine. If it's your first shawl experience and you don't have someone to help you along I think you'd be frustrated.
The shawl was knit on circular needles - starting with 4.5mm and moving up a size every 50-75 grams of wool so the final repeat was knit on 8mm needles. It was a relaxing knit and I enjoyed working on it while watching tv (most notably the Apprentice and Any Dream Will Do) (sad but true).
As for my next project I think I'm suffering from an overload of inspiration!! My yarn stash is overflowing and I have so many things I want to do.
PS - still no sign of the Grafting Fairy -- not even Hotel Chocolat can lure her to finish off those dang socks.
Sunday, 10 June 2007
I don't look down on 2 circular needle sock knitters. I simply pity the socks. Sure, once they're done they're ok, and can't be distinguished from their cousins with better beginnings -- but it's the unfinished sock I worry about.
Unfinished socks on a skinny set of dpns are a beautiful sight. On dpns socks look at home, the look as knitting should look to non-knitters - complicated and requiring incredible cleverness of the knitter. Unfinished socks on two circs just look, well uncomfortable, at loose ends and well, silly.
Until this week I believed all socks should be knit on dpns.
And then I faced the Bayerische.
I cast on using lovely Addi bamboo dpns. They were smooth and pointy - but darn it all making those twisted cabled stitches was fiddly. I blamed the 7 inch needles and replaced them with gorgeous Lantern Moon 5 inch ebony needles. Sigh. But the knitting was still less than graceful. And occasionally one of the wooden needles would bend a little... Sigh again.
So, under cover of the night and an assumed alias I ordered two 2mm Addi circulars. Not that I was admitting defeat. No. It was - you know. So I could come to a balanced conclusion regarding their unsuitable-ness for socks.
They arrived yesterday morning.
And ... well ... the Bayerische was tamed. Now I was gliding along each round. I could abandon my many attempts to sensibly divide the pattern among the 4 needles. Now the pattern quite elegantly split between the two circulars. And I sped along to the end. (Note I put the sock back on to dpns for the grafting fairy -- she prefers them as well.)
Happily my tension didn't seem to change, but the knitting was much much easier. So I'll cast the second sock on the two circulars.
Those less stubborn and opinionated than I might think that suggests my dpn stance is wrong. Ha! Never! These socks are just the exception that prove the 'socks should be knit on dpns' rule.
The Grafting Fairy
I'm beginning to think that perhaps the Grafting Fairy doesn't exist after all.... I've added another sock and still nothing. I'll continue to leave my socks on the window ledge for a couple of more nights and see what happens.
Maybe if I leave some chocolate with them....
Blocking a Very Big Aran Weight Shawl
A very big aran weight shawl is drying (very slowly) in the guest room. I cast it off last night after the nailbiting Any Dream Will Do final. (I confess to being very pleased that Lee won. I might even have voted once (or twice). )
Anyway - I'll post another picture when it's released from captivity along some details later this week.
Sunday, 3 June 2007
Until now - socks have been my 'easy' knitting. The stuff I do while watching tv or while my brain is otherwise engaged.